One of the strong points of director Ribhu Dasgupta is his attention to mundane matters. So we see John Biswas, returning home after a long day, putting on bathroom slippers before he enters his home. He goes to the terrace to remove clothes from the clothesline. It makes an engaging watch. Alas, the screenplay severely hinders his ability to deliver a film of the level of a Kahaani, the hit that one of the producers of the film delivered not too long ago.
The film starts with John Biswas (Amitabh Bachchan) doggedly trying to catch the person behind the kidnap and murder of his granddaughter even after eight years have passed. Everybody involved in the case has given up hope of ever catching the criminal. The policeman who handled the case, Martin Das (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is now a priest, fighting his guilt. Even John’s wife (Padmavati Rao) has given up any hope of catching the perpetrator.
Ribhu has dwelled too long on Bachchan’s character, given that the film is a thriller. The pace slags and you start wondering if this film is about the kidnapping or John. However, the film picks up pace when another kidnapping takes place which is eerily similar to John’s grandchild’s kidnapping.
This new case is handled by policewoman Sarita Sarkar (Vidya Balan) who asks Martin to help her in catching the kidnapper. It appears to the viewer that John is following his own investigation while Sarita and Martin are following their leads. Till it comes to the climax, and you realize John’s investigation was actually a flashback. It is confusing to say the least, rather it feels like manipulating the viewer. The climax itself is convoluted that prevents the film from leaving an impact.
Amitabh Bachchan, as usual, is good. We have seen him in similar avatars before in Wazir and Piku. Vidya Balan, even after a long break, is impressive. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, is strangely subdued. His comic lines do not evoke laughter, they seem misplaced. Sabyasachi Chakrabarty as the grandfather of the second child who’s kidnapped is decent.
It is evident that Ribhu Dasgupta is a good storyteller. He shows his grip in pieces, for example, when the mother of the second kidnapped child goes for the money drop. However, in trying to keep the suspense alive, he has mixed flashback with present in a way that it become shard to tell how the story is playing out. Hopefully, we will have more gripping stories from him in the future. If you overlook the few flaws, Te3n is still an engaging film.
Rating : 2/5
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Padmavati Rao
Director: Ribhu Dasgupta